Michigan Wants to Fine Schools for Indian Mascots But Not for Violating State Laws

School contracts violate laws related to racial preferences, right-to-work, and more

State Superintendent Brian Whiston wants to fine school districts for having politically incorrect mascots, according to a news article in MLive.

MLive reported that Whiston has asked the attorney general for a legal opinion on whether his office has the authority to penalize school districts who has mascots with names such as “Redskins.” Whiston said if the answer was no, the Legislature could pass a bill to give the state superintendent that power.

Whiston said the fine could be up to 10 percent of a school district’s state aid payment.

Paw Paw Public Schools has the nickname Redskins and could face a fine of $1.62 million. Saranac Community Schools also has the name Redskins. And it could face a fine of $890,000.

ForTheRecord says: Across the state, school districts are ignoring state laws at will. In the past few years, districts have contracts which force teachers to give money to unions, establish racial and religious preferences, automatically deduct union dues, avoid transparency laws, and ignore merit pay requirements. All of those provisions are contrary to state laws.

Unlike mascot-gate, the Michigan Department of Education has not done anything about those violations or shown interest in going to the state Legislature to get the authority to enforce the law.

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Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. It's growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years. But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them, transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government and imposed deed restrictions on property sales to private developers. All of it was aimed to hinder or even prevent charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

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